The Nations We Will Miss in the World Cup (And the Ones We Won’t)
There are still 9 spots left for the World Cup. But one thing is for sure: 32 is not enough for the number of cool nations around. We are still months away from the World Cup, but here are nations that we already miss. And the reason we miss them? Some of them,at some point in some edition of the tournament, played nice football. Others are just traditional, with consecutive appearances. Others, to be honest, had or have a nice jersey. Here’s the list and why we miss them:
Sweden: Great 1994 World Cup, Survived the group of death in 02 (which eliminated Argentina), Played tough against England in 06, traditional side, cool jersey, brings memories of Tomas Brolin, Larsson and others.
Turkey: Nice 2002 World Cup, and current cool jersey.
Belgium: Tradition (86, 90, 94, 02) and a good game against Brazil in 02.
Czech Republic: The spank against US in 2006 is enough. The American commentators were growing a bit arrogant after the 02 World Cup, and that match brought them back to reality.
Saudi Arabia: Many cups in a row and the incredible goal by Saeed El Oweiran in 1994.
Iran: Beating the US in 98, and being a tough rival in all 98 and 06 matches.
Norway: Not a fan of their style, but two cups in a row (94 and 98) and the good matches in 98 (beating Brazil 2-1) put the nation in this list.
Poland: Not a great fan of their football as well (recently they produced some of the worst matches I’ve ever seen), but they have tons of tradition.
Ecuador and Colombia: Two countries with cups in a row. Ecuador 2 (02 and 06) and Colombia 3 (90, 94, 98). The former had good performances (especially in 06 against England). The latter brings memories of Valderrama, Higuita, Rincon and Asprilla.
Romania: Cool jersey, great cup in 94 (kicking Argentina’s ass), always tough rival against England, and memories of Hagi, Petrescu and others.
Bulgaria: Two cups in a row (94 and 98), the 94 campaign and the memories of the Stoichkov generation.
Morocco: The 98 campaign and the memories of Hadji.
Croatia: This one hurts not to see there. 3 cups in row (98, 02, 06), Great cup in 98 (spanking German ass), tough rival in the other cups (even though being way less successful) and memories of the Suker generation.
Senegal: The opening game of 02 (beating France), and the great campaign that followed.
Some nations, however, will not be missed because they lack everything talked in the above category. Do not have one single good game, tradition, cool jerseys, and produced some of the worst matches of the history of the World Cup.
Jamaica and Trinidad y Tobago: As much as this blog believes every cup should always have a Caribbean nation because of the fun they bring to the tournament, they forget to take seriously on the pitch and are beaten very easily.
China: Played one cup and only because the tournament was held in Asia, which qualified Japan and S. Korea automatically. In the cup, the level of playing was poor at most, being easily eliminated by a group that had Costa Rica and Turkey.
Bolivia: After the great campaign in the 93 qualifying, the side conducted by Etcheverry produced some of the worst matches of the 1994 cup.
United Arab Emirates: Some of the worst matches of the 1990 were produced by the UAE.
Togo: One of the most irritating appearances. Played well most of the time in 06, but could never score, allowing the horrendous sides of France and Switzerland to advance.
Angola: As much as this blog likes African nations for bringing fun, Angola produced some boring football in the 06 cup.